Life Lessons · mental health

Parenting in the Tik Tok era…

Yep you heard that correctly. What in the actual heck?! I love being a mom and as we approach Mother’s Day I am reflecting on how difficult it is to be a parent in 2021.

I’m going to end up sounding a bit like a boomer and say that the world was just different when I was growing up. But as a self professed Gen X’er (despite my millennial birth year) I know that things change. I think the one thing that anyone born before 1992 can attest is that the complete and utterly unrestricted access to everything at the click of a button has a huge influence on the rising generations. In fact “influencer” is now a lucrative profession. Ask a 13 year old what they want to be when they grow up and I’m certain the answer would not be a lawyer or a doctor.

As a parent in the age of “all information,” whether it’s fact or fiction, I can tell that parenting sucks. Yeah yeah children are a blessing blah blah. Don’t get me wrong, they are. I adore my girls but this is the hardest damn job I’ve ever had. It’s harder than nursing school, giving birth, or driving an 18 wheeler on the turnpike. (I wouldn’t know about that last one but it looks nerve wracking) I ask my stepmom who has been a preschool teacher for 25+ years, why it is so different these days and she just tells me it’s a generational thing. Well every generation has a “thing.” But part of me thinks that parents have not evolved as quickly as the influx of knowledge from the internet has evolved our children. We simply can’t keep up with the amount of information our kids are absorbing on a daily basis. Goodness that is even more of a reason to get them disconnected.

Dale and I swore up and down our kids wouldn’t have phones or iPads. Well our youngest received her first iPad as a gift when she was 2 or 3 and our oldest has had a phone for 2 years now at 13. They have had a constant stream of information into their brains from a device for 8 solid years. That’s insane. And as a nurse I can tell you it’s also dangerous. I swear it’s not me being old and crotchety. Our mental health as a species is floundering because of devices. Technology is wonderful especially in the world of medicine. But I often wonder at what cost.

So what do we do from here? I don’t freaking know. I’d love a do-over. If you have any tips drop a comment lol.

Life Lessons · mental health · peace

Just let it go, let it gooo…

Yep. Just like the song says. I love Disney movies but Frozen in particular is 100% on point. Lately I’ve noticed that so many people around me are trying so hard to have control on the things around them to have some sense of normalcy. I see it causing them a lot of anxiety and stress. So much so that I worry for their physical and mental well being.

I told a friend tonight that I learned long ago that not every person is good or going to be what you expect them to be. We can either accept them for who they are and be okay with what we get from them or we can choose not to. Which often means cutting off relationships. The latter is not always feasible so that leaves us with accepting people for who they are.

That’s not to say that people can’t change. Or that we shouldn’t try to express our feelings with them. But ultimately an individual does not change unless they have great self awareness. We cannot change them. They must change for themselves.

In order to find inner peace though we must be willing to let go of the expectations we have for others. The only thing we can control are the expectations we have for ourselves.

If you find yourself feeling anxious, pause for a moment and ask yourself if this is something you can control or if your are trying to control a situation or others. If your answer is that you are trying to control a situation or others then you need to take a deep breath and say to yourself, “I let go of what I can’t control.” And move on.

I know it’s difficult for many of us to not feel anxious right now. But now more than ever it is imperative to take care of our mental well being. That often entails vital self reflection and making some changes within ourselves. Fortunately that IS something we have control over.